Happy Halloween! Almost. All the ghoulies and ghosties and denizens of Hogwarts are getting ready to celebrate the annual rite of the All Hallows’ Eve, which should include candy, skeletons and pumpkins. Here’s hoping there is good weather on Tuesday night, so the youngsters can enjoy a little creative time away from their helicopter parents, raking in oodles of treats.
Back in the day we carried paper shopping bags with handles for our modest haul of treats. It was a bumper crop year if the handles tore away beneath of the weight of the Butterfingers, Milky Ways, Three Musketeers, Hershey bars, wax teeth, candy apples, nonpareils, and Tootsie Pops. I remember thinking my older brother and his tall friends were so ingenious with their ambitious use of pillowcases. Now, as I understand from extensive internet posts, that reusable Baggu bags are all the rage – because they can hold up to 40 pounds. Can you imagine if 40 pounds of chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk, lactose, milk fat, soy lecithin, peanuts, corn syrup, palm oil, salt, egg whites and artificial flavor waddled home through your front door? And that is just in Snickers bars. Throw in some palm oil from Twix bars, the red dye from Twizzlers, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1 from Starbursts, citric acid, tapioca dextrin, modified corn starch in Skittles, or corn starch in peppermint patties. Ye gods! Peppermint Patties (YouTube link)
Sadly, Mr. Sanders and I live in a dead zone. Our neighborhood is shunned by the trick-or-treaters. We’ve only had a sidewalk for a couple of years, so few kids have made their way over the lawns in search of goodies. And then there were the COVID years, which was even worse. I’m not sure if our neighbors are trying to lure Hansel and Gretel, or if they are just bouncing with exuberance for the Halloween season, but they have a veritable monster mash display of life-sized skeletons, posed in a variety of activities, that draws the few venturing kids away from us. Sigh. I fear the legacy my mother’s humorless, eat-these-because-they-are-good-for-you boxes of raisins has followed me – although I have to state clearly, and for the record, that I have never once handed out raisins. I am firmly in the liberal candy camp that believes in distributing full-size candy bars, in case any trick-or-treaters who live in my neighborhood are reading this. The little white house, next to the house with the back-lit, fire-breathing dragon skeleton on the roof, and the frolicking skeletons playing football on the lawn. Stop by. We don’t disappoint. Ecco-friendly Baggu bags are welcome. Childhood is fleeting – enjoy it while you can.
I’ll have my dozen Martha-approved paper gift bags ready to hand out on Tuesday night, each containing a couple peanut butter cups or Starbursts – trying to be mindful of allergies and braces. Skittish Luke the wonder dog will not be happy. He hears stormtroopers pounding with every little ghostly tap on the door. He’ll be safe in the back bedroom, watching The Morning Show on his iPad. I’ll be baking a quick, all-pretty-much-natural ingredients pumpkin bread, because this is the time of the year to practice for Thanksgiving. There’s only a month to go! I want to bake pumpkin bread just ahead of time, and toss it into my bag of tricks when we drive away to the mountains for our annual Thanksgiving-in-a-Rental-House. It will smell divine! We might have to sample some along the way.
Food52 Pumpkin Bread Please note – no artificial flavors or colors!
Fancy Bon Appétit Pumpkin Bread with Salted Maple Butter, because we can.
“From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!”
– Scottish traditional